Health

Best Antihistamine for Cat Allergies

June 14, 2018

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Best Antihistamine for Cat Allergies

Cats can experience allergic reactions more often than any other house pet, and if your cat is suffering from allergies, then you should consider giving it an antihistamine treatment. This is a steroid that fights asthmatic attacks and helps prevent allergic reactions. We would like to show you how to find the right antihistamine for your cat and review a few of the best ones on the market today.

Causes and Risks of Allergies

A lot of cats have food allergies, and they have a bad reaction to dairy, corn, soy, gluten and other ingredients in their cat food. If your cat is having an allergy attack, then it may sneeze constantly, cough, vomit, or simply act erratically. Look for strange behaviors and other signs of allergic reactions your cat may be showing. Only administer an antihistamine if you are sure that your cat is having an allergic reaction. If you’re not sure or even just to be on the safe side, it’s best to contact your veterinarian or take your cat to the veterinarian, if you are not sure.

Quick Look: Top 3 Picks

BrandDiphenhydramine Oral SolutionDiphenhydramine HCIAnti-Allergy Antihistamine Chlorpheniramine
Product

Rating
Our TakeBest PriceBest OverallEditor’s Choice
GradeAA+A
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Common symptoms

Allergic reactions can lead to all sorts of medical problems if they are not treated. The most serious effects could be asphyxiation and death, if your cat is having trouble breathing. Generally, the effects of an allergic reaction are not that severe though. Instead your cat is more likely to be nauseated, vomit often or not want to eat its food. Reluctance to eat is especially likely if your cat has a food allergy. Skin disease is another symptom cats can suffer from if they experience and allergic reaction. As with any allergic reaction, it won’t happen every time, but it is possible, so look for signs of skin reactions, such as redness, spots and swelling.

What to Consider Before You Buy Antihistamine for Cat Allergies

Since your cat’s safety is on the line, keep these things in mind as you try to find the right antihistamine for your pet:

  • Inhalers- The best kind of antihistamine devices to use for your cat are inhalers. These create very few side effects. The inhaler sends steroids into the lungs, but the steroids are not able to penetrate deeper than that, which makes them a bit safer than injectable or ingested steroids.
  • Your Cat’s Behavior- Not all cats are going to eat ingestible antihistamines or respond well to you trying to open their mouth and spray them with an inhaler. You may have to use an injectable form of antihistamine to give them their steroids. You need to know what your cat is comfortable with and how cooperative it will be with you. Yes, the risks can change slightly based on what form of antihistamine you are administering, but you may not have much of a choice, and we don’t want you to waste your money on a drug that you won’t be able to safely and effectively administer.
  • Reduce Allergens- One thing you can do to help your cat and possibly eliminate the need for an antihistamine is to reduce allergens in the environment around your cat. You can keep cigarette smoke away from them, choose a different kind of food for them to eat and keep the house clean and free from other animals. These can all contribute to a healthier cat with fewer allergic reactions. Foods made with limited products can also greatly reduce the risk of your cat getting exposed to allergens.
  • Medication Interactions- If your cat is taking medication or has a medical condition, then you need to be careful about any antihistamines you give it. The steroids could interact with the medication or condition your cat has and make the problem worse or create unexpected side effects. Talk to your veterinarian before giving any medicating cat a new drug.

What to Avoid

It’s important that you choose medication for your cat carefully, so here are a few pointers to keep your cat safe.

  • Overmedicating-  If you are administering the antihistamine medication to your cat, then it can be tempting to give your pet too much. After all, you want to your cat to feel better fast, but overdosing your cat can be incredibly dangerous, and you want to use the recommended dosage. It may take slightly longer to get the results you want, but you will be protecting your cat from potential severe side effects.
  • Unknown or Untrustworthy Sources- Where are you buying medication for your cat? Is it from a reputable source? Are you purchasing something made by a respected manufacturer? You need to ask yourself these questions to ensure you are doing what you can to protect your cat.
  • Self-Medicating- You want to be careful about picking out an antihistamine on your own and giving it to your cat without ever consulting your veterinarian. You could be thinking that your cat is experiencing an allergic reaction when the problem is something completely different, and you need to be sure before you start administering any medication. Always consult your veterinarian!
  • Treating Multiple Cats the Same– Not all cats have the same allergic reactions to the same allergen. You need to be careful about using the same medication on more than one cat or assuming that multiple cats have the same problem when only one has been diagnosed by an expert.

Product Reviews

After listing some pointers for shopping for antihistamines for your cat, let’s look at some of the best products out there.

Diphenhydramine HCI 25 Mg Allergy Medicine and Antihistamine Generic for Benadryl Allergy Mini Tabs

This simple and effective antihistamine blocks the production of histamine and can be used for more than just treating allergies. You can also use it to help calm your cat or put it to sleep before you travel. These are ingestible tablets, and some cats won’t want to eat them, but if you can get your cat to eat it, then this is one of the most economical choices you can make. While these are generic tablets, they work every bit as well as the name brand ones.

Pros

  • Very effective.
  • Very affordable.
  • Multiple uses.

Cons

  • Not all cats will take these tablets.

Diphenhydramine Oral Solution Antihistamine

This medication is basically the same as the previous one we mentioned, but it comes in liquid form instead of as a tablet. Once again, your cat may not like the taste or the experience of taking this medication, so you will have to know your cat’s behaviors and preferences before you choose this as your antihistamine medication. It works very well, though, blocking the production of histamine and serving as a calming agent and sleep aid for cats.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced.
  • Works very effectively.
  • Can be used to calm cats as well as treat allergies.

Cons

  • Your cat may not like swallowing it much.

Anti-Allergy Antihistamine Chlorpheniramine Maleate

If you are comparing antihistamines, you will find that this tablet works great, but there are other, better options you could choose from. What gives this one an edge of over a lot of the competition is the price. It’s more expensive than anything we have listed so far, but it is still cheaper than a name brand one would be. If compared to a name brand product, this one is a bit less potent, which is good if you are looking for something milder. Still, it is a good way to medicate your pet’s allergies and keep it calm and relaxed while travelling.

Pros

  • A bit pricier than our other choices.
  • Treats allergies quickly and effectively.

Cons

  • Not as potent as the name brand.

ValuMeds Allergy Medicine (600 Tablets) Antihistamine

We chose this one because of how affordable it is. The price doesn’t mean this is an ineffective option though. It’s actually just as effective as Benadryl and other name brand antihistamines. It’s not a cheap knockoff or a way for the manufactures to save money while cutting corners. Keeping in mind the cheap price, this product is still very effective.

Pros

  • Very affordable.
  • Relieves many different allergy symptoms.
  • Every bit as good as the bigger brands.

Cons

  • Your cat may not like it much.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what you should be looking for and what some of the best options are, you can make a smart choice for yourself and for your cat. The most important thing about getting antihistamine for your cat though, is consult your veterinarian and make sure you are getting the right tablets. You wouldn’t want to give your cat something that isn’t doing it any good right? With that in mind, one of the above products will take care of allergy symptoms your cat may be suffering from.

Katie Cohen is a freelance writer specializing in the subject of feline health and behavior. An avid dog lover and adoring owner of two cats. When she’s not working she loves going to the park with her two Weimaraner’s Lily and Bells
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